Several big media sources have confirmed that Los Angeles City’s renowned sushi hotspot, Urasawa, was cited by California’s Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su following a government investigation.
Reports said that the investigation revealed that the sushi restaurant’s employees often work 10.5 hours a day without receiving overtime pay or proper rest or meal breaks. In addition, the labor commission found out that Urasawa failed to provide wage statements itemizing the number of hours that the employees worked and their rate pay, which is another violation of the California employment laws.
Consequently, the restaurant was required to pay a total of $67,785.00 as monetary relief. Reportedly, at least $38,585.00 of which is for the unpaid wages of three workers who were told to work in excess of 10 hours each day without overtime pay, some $18,500 is for failing to provide wage deduction statements, and some $8,700.00 for failing to pay overtime and provide rest and meal periods.
The citation was in part of the statewide investigation to curb California’s labor law violators. In a recent research conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles’ (UCLA) Labor Center, it suggested that Los Angeles has the highest rates of wage theft over the country. In fact, each week, employers withhold $26.2 million from workers or a total of $1.4 billion a year.
So far, Urasawa, which was named after its owner, Hiroyuki Urasawa, ranked as the second most expensive restaurant in the U.S. Also, it often receives almost perfect reviews in Yelp for their pricey but satisfying meals. Apparently, much of its efforts were focused on its food and presentation alone but not on the quality of being a model employer. Hopefully, this citation will finally serve as a lesson for the eatery and other businesses in the state.